For many of us, 2017 was a doozy, but we here at Brit + Co are ready to hit refresh in 2018! Follow our Hit Refresh series through January for new ideas, hacks, and skills that will help you achieve (and maintain!) those New Year’s resolutions.

Overcooked and under-seasoned fish — can you slap anything worse onto your dinner plate? A lot of folks want to incorporate more pescatarian meals into their diets these days, but fish becomes an easy flop when you’re not used to working with it. (Especially on the grill.) However, there is *one* foolproof way to cook fish, and that’s by steaming it in a parchment packet. This method promises a tender and flavorful fillet every time, not to mention the countless flavor combinations you can create.

How to prepare your fish in parchment

Before you start drooling over our flavor combos, it’s best you know how to package your fish in parchment. Here’s a useful way to do it:

Heart-Shaped Packet

  1. Prepare a large sheet of parchment paper that measures approximately 14 by 12 inches.
  2. Fold the paper over lengthwise and cut half of a heart into the paper using scissors. When you unfold the paper, you should be left with a paper heart. (Cute, right?) Make sure you have about a one- to two-inch border for folding later.
  3. Place the parchment onto a flat surface and transfer the fillet of fish to the center of one of the heart halves.
  4. Deck out your fish with your chosen ingredients including your seasoning, toppings, and drizzles.
  5. Fold the parchment over your fillet and line up the edges of your parchment. At the rounded end, start folding the parchment in two-inch segments. Work your way around the packet until you reach the end, and carefully twist and tuck the end piece under the packet to secure.
  6. Cook your fish in the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 12-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet. You’re looking for opaque and flaky flesh and an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once you’ve mastered the technique, try out these three flavor combos. Soon, you’ll be coming up with your own in NO time.

Mediterranean influence

Toppings to include:

  • a sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • Kalamata olives
  • capers
  • grape tomatoes
  • thinly sliced red onion
  • marinated artichoke hearts
  • lemon slices

To make it saucy:

  • a knob of butter or a drizzle of olive oil
  • a few generous drips of dry white wine

East Asian Influence

Toppings to include:

  • a sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • red bell pepper
  • scallions
  • edamame
  • bok choy
  • daikon
  • lime slices
  • fresh cilantro
  • sesame seeds for garnish

To make it saucy:

  • sesame oil
  • soy sauce
  • rice vinegar
  • spicy chili sauce
  • miso paste (thoroughly mixed into all or any of the above)

Simple Herb and Butter

Toppings to include:

  • a sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • your favorite fresh herbs, chopped (dill, thyme, basil, parsley, etc.)
  • lemon slices

To make it saucy:

  • a knob of butter
  • a few generous drips of dry white wine

For more cooking tips and tricks, follow us on Pinterest!

(Illustrations via Marisa Kumtong)